Liberal line on the empire’s wars

Frank Rich has a disgusting piece in the NYT today, an attempt to establish the limits of allowable debate for Obama’s Great Decision on Afghanistan.

What are the (only) alternatives? McChrystal or Biden. God help us. McChrystal — tens of thousands more US troops; Biden — air war against our real enemy in the region, Pakistan.

On the way, Rich makes the liberal’s favorite move about Vietnam. He contends, quite ahistorically, that it was Johnson who “Americanized” that war, and Kennedy was conflicted and innocent. That’s hogwash, as anyone who wants to look at the historical record will conclude. The invasion of South Vietnam occurred in 1962, while Kennedy was alive. (The war was always against the people of South Vietnam, who didn’t have the good grace to accept the government that we’d picked out for them.)

The point of the piece is to delegitimize the only non-criminal path for the US, the withdrawal of its troops (and mercenaries, corporations, etc.) from the region.

“Invading armies have no rights, only responsibilities. Among them are the responsibility to pay reparations for their crimes, and to hold the guilty accountable. A crucial responsibility is to pay careful attention to the will of the victims. The decision to withdraw does not lie in the hands of the invaders. That should be elementary.” [Noam Chomsky]

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“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” –Noam Chomsky